Erdoğan’s approval rating sees sharp drop since latest offensive in Syria

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s approval rating dropped by almost five points in the last three months, losing all support he gained after he ordered a military incursion into Syria in October, according to an opinion poll published on Tuesday.

Erdoğan’s approval rating fell to 43.7 percent last month from 48.4 percent in October, declining to a similar level before he announced the military offensive, the poll by Ankara-based research company Metropoll showed. 

The poll showed that Erdoğan’s popularity dropped most among supporters of the far-right Nationalist Action Party (MHP), which backs his Justice and Development Party (AKP) in parliament. Erdoğan’s approval among MHP loyalists dropped to 52 percent from 79.2 percent in November.

The number of Turks who disapproved of Erdoğan’s rule surged by 8.5 percentage points to 44.2 percent, the figures showed. Fourteen percent did not respond to the survey, or gave no opinion.

Declining support for Erdoğan had contributed to losses for his ruling AKP at local elections earlier this year. The AKP lost control of five of six largest cities, including Turkey's largest cities Istanbul and Ankara, as Turks saw living standards plummet in the aftermath of the currency crisis, which sparked a severe economic downturn, and Erdoğan tightened his grip on power.